SILVERWARE: Man City and Chelsea's rich owners have spent big money on Toure, left, and Drogba
BITTER LONDON rivals Arsenal and Tottenham and fierce northern opponents Manchester United and Liverpool have found common cause – all four Premier League clubs want the league to impose stronger spending controls.
In a letter to Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore, the two capital teams and two north-west clubs demanded the implementation of rules which would require every club to break even, not allowing for affluent benefactors to bankroll teams and cover operating losses.
“Thank you for your continued work on the vital subject of Financial Regulation for the Premier League”, read the letter to Scudamore, who has been at the helm since November 1999.
“However, we do not feel that the latest proposals go far enough to curb the inflationary spending which is putting so much pressure on clubs across the entire League.
“We continue to believe that to be successful and have the best chance of gaining at least the 14 votes necessary, any proposals for Financial Regulation must include meaningful measures to restrict the owner funding of operating losses.”
FINAL SAY: Chief executive Scudamore could decide to agree to tougher spending regulations
League champions Manchester City, funded by billionaire Abu Dhabi tycoon Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and European champions Chelsea, backed by Roman Abramovich, strongly oppose any moves to bring in financial regulations. Both clubs’ previous transfer policies have seen them import some of Africa’s best players, including Yaya Toure, Didier Drogba and Michael Essien, each costing more than £20m.
Aside from inflated transfer prices, which further make the market lopsided, player wages have been pushed upward, thanks to foreign owners being able to pay, in some cases, salaries in excess of £200,000 per week – enabling clubs with wealthy owners to entice the cream of global talent, widening the gap between the haves and have-nots.
Fulham and West Bromwich Albion are the only other two that tow a similar position to Chelsea and City. The remaining 12 clubs maintain stances which are in between the extremes.